STIs, or sexually transmitted infections are infections that are spread through sexual contact with another person. They pose a health risk that is easily preventable. Being educated about STIs is the first step in protecting your health and the health of loved ones.
Our work environment is a part of a complex set of factors that can influence the level of health of every person. To have a productive workplace, healthy employees are essential. If illnesses can be prevented, costs to both the employer and employee will be less and suffering will be minimized, and absenteeism will be decreased. Employers can help to educate and motivate employees to look after their health in a variety of ways.
Did you know?
- The most common STI in Northwestern Ontario is Chlamydia.
- Anybody engaging in unprotected oral, vaginal,and anal sexual activity is at risk.
- You can have more than one STI at a time.
- Most people with an STI will have no symptoms.
- Symptoms could include a discharge, pain during sex, abdominal pain, burning/pain when peeing, and unusual vaginal bleeding.
- Using condoms during oral, anal or vaginal sex can reduce the risk of transmitting and acquiring an STI.
- STIs that go untreated can result in infertility for both men and women.
Tips for Employers
- Posters in employee work areas, break rooms, and public restrooms can help raise awareness of positive health habits.
- Invite guest speakers to come in on lunch or coffee breaks to talk about safe sex practices.
- Be knowledgeable about Universal Precautions if your employees work in an environment where there is contact with body fluids.Have a policy in place to deal with blood/body fluid spills and review it with all staff. All spills should be reported. Ensure that gloves and hand sanitizer are readily available to all employees.
- Develop and implement an AIDS/STI discrimination policy and review it with your staff.
- Have a policy in place to deal with blood/body fluid spills and review it with all staff. All spills should be reported. Ensure that gloves and hand sanitizer are readily available to all employees.
- Add an article about STIs to your workplace newsletter. Better yet, make it a regular feature
The Northwestern Health Unit offers confidential, accurate and non-judgmental services. Services are available for both males and females. No referral is necessary. For more information about resources or services, please contact your local Health Unit office.
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